Ron DeSantis has taken national leadership in his effort to stamp out drag queens. I have never been to a drag queen brunch or a drag queen library story hour, but they seem to be popular in some places, especially in Florida. And DeSantis won’t have it! Apparently, parents bring their children to these events, but they don’t have the “parental right” to do it in DeSantisland.

Floridians in the performing arts are worried that DeSantis will send his morality police to close them down next, if they stage a play like “Mrs. Doubtfire.” As it happens, a drag musical called “Kinky Boots” recently opened in Orlando; it was a huge hit on Broadway. Will DeSantis close it down? Will he assign undercover agents to make sure that no parents bring children with them?

Amanda Rosa writes in the Miami Herald:

Before there was “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and drag brunch in Wynwood, there was Shakespeare.

Women were not allowed to perform on stage in England until 1660, which meant that men in wigs and dresses would depict female characters in Shakespeare’s most iconic plays.

In modern theater, a strong tradition of drag on stage remains, from Edna Turnblad in “Hairspray” to Mrs. Trunchbull in “Matilda” to Angel in “Rent.”

Drag, particularly in the presence of children, is the latest target in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ onslaught against what he calls “woke ideology.”

As the state government reprimands businesses and venues that have hosted drag shows where children were present, South Florida performance arts groups have watched with unease.

Conservative politicians’ increasingly inflammatory rhetoric and legislation targeting the LGBTQ community may have a chilling effect. Members of South Florida’s theater scene question what the implications may be for performances that include LGBTQ characters, actors in drag or themes that the state government may find offensive.

Drag artists wonder if venues that have hosted their shows in the past may now view them as a liability. And some worry that theater may be the next battleground in DeSantis’ culture war….

The Herald reached out to several performing arts groups and venues for this report. One theater organization, which has LGBTQ cast members, declined to speak on the record out of fear of retaliation.

Meltzer said that some in the local theater scene have reservations about sharing their concerns with the press, himself included. “People are scared,” Meltzer said. “And that shows you everything that you need to know about what’s really going on…

Whether DeSantis likes it or not, drag has cemented itself into mainstream pop culture. And touring productions that feature drag are coming to South Florida. Pop icon Madonna, a vocal LGBTQ ally, is bringing her world tour to the Miami-Dade Arena with special guest, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner and comedian Bob the Drag Queen. Madonna recently announced the addition of more tour dates, including a stop in Tennessee to protest the state’s “drag ban” law. The arena declined to comment for this story.

Read more at: